the little genius with teeth, claws and a desirous heart

Coming back to a painting I posted about here, just a little more on what I see it representing now.

IMG_0029 I was always touched by the image, the protectiveness of the demon, the trust of the little child.

I see this now as an image of the inner demon in a person, the divine, individual spark that can grow and flourish, pictured as a baby, black as night but etched in light, the hidden god.

The baby is held by a demon because it is itself a demon in potential, and because it is guarded by the discarded, the disregarded and the reviled within us, and because this very area, wild and beyond judgement, is what “looks after” our potential, while we are finding the way through life, and won’t let us quite forget our true nature.

For a similar reason, this scene is in the desert, the place of barrenness, loneliness and the harsh extremes of nature, clear and crisp and immense.

The Moon is waning, because the waning Moon has always seemed like an old friend to me, and as it wanes it accompanies those who greet it deeper and deeper into the night, at the most solitary and secret times, until it is itself a sliver of silver heralding the dawn.

On the horizon there is a glow, as of an intimation of first light, but the phase of the Moon makes this impossible, for dawn would be a long way off with the Moon in this position. This is not the light of day, but an unnatural light, and a reminder that magick is never only natural. Against Nature also has its place in magick, and self-realisation.

Little demon, hidden self.

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saints, healers and beasts

I have written on this subject before, as well as about my limited experience of contributing to a certain kind of art.

I have great respect for porn, and for sex work, and sex workers. I view the latter as having a sacred function in a world that has trouble according Nature its due, and the former (potentially) as art that exists below as well as above the belt. And that’s probably why it is taboo, because we are all both vulnerable and blissful below the belt, and our society has a long standing stake in dividing our natures against themselves. That may be religious in origin, though its puritanism has been vigorously taken up by identity politics, or it may be an underpinning element of a wider authoritarian mind-set.

So I am very interested in the overlap between “pornography”, art and artistic creativity, and magick. I consider this to be a sacred form of art, one which certainly may not be achieved (or aimed for) in all porn, but it is implicit in the territory, just as a form of sacred service is implicit in the field of sex work.

We have a long way to go in living free lives as the human beings we are, though many people are bravely attempting to do so in their personal and private lives, while others are hoodwinked by politics into propping up more forms of division and fabrication. I thank anyone for honestly trying to be themselves at this deeper level of sexuality, being and relationship. Pornography and sex work are not ends in themselves (anymore than other forms of art or vocation are), but services towards the wholeness of life. Extrapolated to magickal spirituality this area has many resonances in our lives, beyond pornography, sex work, or indeed literal sex. This is some of what I was alluding to in my post on Babalon* also.

The real work is our being human.

painting2

landscape, person or art?

This post is dedicated to Freya, Babalon and Set.

* indeed Babalon might be one of the “saints” of the title of this post.

29th October 2016: post edited

this little piggie

Overnight I got a message from Tumblr that one of my posts had been taken down for a “content policy violation”.

The video you posted on Sep 26th, 2015 2:29 pm was removed for violating our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, which you can skim over at: https://www.tumblr.com/policy/community

Long policy short: We don’t allow sexually explicit videos to be uploaded to Tumblr.

Too many violations and you get banned.

This post was made on a blog I have on Tumblr (flagged by myself as having adult content) called “magickpig”. My description is shown as follows:

this is my “adult oriented” tumblr blog, where I can express my reverence for sexuality and the erotic. it will include some of my art work, plus other things – I think many things considered “pornographic” are a sacred and particularly intimate form of art, and I view desire, individuality and imagination with great respect. I also share some personal things here as an expression of my inner nature

It’s a blog which seeks to address the sacredness of the erotic, and its relationship to individuality and imagination, in a personal and poetic way.

I kept this blog password protected (thus private) for many months this Summer and Autumn, as I was feeling too vulnerable due to things I was going through. Thanks to the healing and growth I have been going through recently, I have considered making it public again, but am still holding back on that.

Here is the soundtrack to the video:

This morning the video was removed for being “sexually explicit”, despite showing no sexual act, or explicit depiction of sexual arousal. I rewrote the comment on the video as follows:

this video was taken down by Tumblr as being “sexually explicit”
I made it to be artistic, with a sound track I composed, and posted it back in 2015
it was made at the time to be modest self-revelation and poetry, art
you see my buttocks, my back, and my anus in close up
I am guessing the sight of my anus is “sexually explicit”
I’m quietly complimented

It’s funny when someone as shy and sexually unassuming as myself gets this kind of reaction to a modest piece of art.

Who knew an arse had such power?

4434f5f63b3a0994a4e8412d178a29ac

penn_state_university_pigs

Penn state university pigs by George Chriss (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 us (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

* 5th October 2016: post edited

old school art

It’s another beautiful day here, such that we can keep the back door open, which is always a good feeling. I’ve put out the rubbish, and started shifting house plants into the garden for Summer. Good!

I also realized, with a “duh!”, that I need to get back to drawing and writing, as in on paper and canvas, and scribbling in little note books with ink or pencil. Then maybe more painting. That is old, dirty magic, and nothing is like it.

The internet, and digital technology, is great. It lets us see stuff we wouldn’t otherwise. It helps us make contact, find each other (I think that is honestly the biggest thing about the internet), and that is tremendous. It transcends space, but it also transcends physical substance. It transcends a certain kind of work. It’s a very Geminian medium astrologically. Fleet, quick footed, eclectic, various, ephemeral, everyday. But just as it transcends space, it sucks away time. It makes some of the hard work seem unnecessary, but that’s actually a lie. So Mercurial – communication, commerce and theft, but also insight potentially. It could be deskilling a generation at coping with physical reality (though some of us were never that good at that anyway!), though I think that is only temporary at worst. The internet had its radical social heyday during the Neptune in Aquarius years (1998 – 2011 basically), the glamour of technology, when it seemed to be a mind expanding drug. But that time has run out, and the internet has just become a substandard replacement of libraries and newspapers and books (it’s Geminian, not Sagittarian), and largely a kind of organ of gossip with a skewed sense of globalisation, plus a fantastic shopping opportunity. Social media are so successful because they correctly divined the internet’s inherent nature. Pictures of my breakfast and my pets are just what the internet lends itself to, as does chatting with my friends, and posting extended open letters, finding porn and shopping. It’s also why blogs have become a big thing. Web log. Dear diary. Today I ……. That is basically what every blog is, even when it pretends to be a news site. That’s the medium, even if it sells itself as a different message.

And what it basically is, is all fine, but it’s all it is. Enjoy it, gain from it, but don’t expect too much from it, because it isn’t real life. It transcends physical substance in order to transcend space, and life without physical substance is not the same.

Which brings me back to the subject of this post, which is art. The other day I started writing a poem in my head while I was on the computer, and rather than open up a text program, I looked around and found an old notebook I had bought years ago and never used. Just the act of opening up the notebook and writing in it, the committing of ink to paper in the private little book, the need to cross out if I wanted to change it, to write in my own handwriting, in a book I could take anywhere, transmitted back to me the magic of doing stuff for real. It doesn’t matter if it’s crap, it’s your fucking art. It’s messy, unresolved, alive. Every revision you see, like a scar on skin. It is art without plastic surgery. And this is how you do stuff, intimately, for real, throwing yourself at it, with a real, uneditable trail. Like life.

And then I got out my sketch book and started on a new picture of an old demon. Let’s just see. Let’s just try. Let’s open up the wound.

You can find the grimoire of desire and fulfilment, as Austin Osman Spare used to indicate, between the hand and the eye.

Just not online.

It’s dirty.

Old.

Magick.

notebook

 

 

Easter weekend

It is the long bank holiday here in the UK, the Easter one, which goes from “Good Friday” through to the Monday. It was always quite a thing when I was younger, as it is the longest holiday you automatically get (generally), aside maybe from Christmas when “Boxing Day” falls on a Saturday, but at Christmas everything was closed down, so it didn’t really count. Today is Sunday, and it is quite nice and sunny.

I’ve been celebrating Easter by working my way through the Alien quadrilogy of films, seeing the directors’ cuts. Well, there is a theme of eggs and “new life”, even if it’s not exactly fluffy. I’m just about to start on Alien 3. I really like Sigourney weaver in these films, and I think Ripley may be my favourite female lead character of all time.

ripley2

still from screen test for Alien – video at https://youtu.be/pj6P9qZIwbM

I noticed when watching Aliens that the sound track in some of the space sections used a classical style of music with a sad, poignant, elegiac feel, which gives a whole, unstated tone to the framing of the story, and also seems to invoke the ground breaking 2001: A Space Odyssey, with its haunting use of classical music. It turns out that James Horner references Gayane‘s Adagio here, which was actually used by Kubrick in 2001. So the mystical, psychedelic 2001 is faintly called upon, a memory of almost twenty years past, in the grimey, dystopian Aliens of the mid 80s.

Another thing I saw this weekend was a short video about Viva, an 82 year old punk, who joined a punk band as a 45 year old divorcee. as she says: “in my head I never think that I’m 82, I’m just Viva”.

“I had a very ordinary life ….  punk had a great freedom with no rules. I couldn’t sing, but I got up there and sung. And it didn’t matter. You had to have the spirit and the energy…… The punk obviously opened up a door that I did not know was inside me. Something came out I did not know I had. I certainly haven’t got any regrets. Obviously you do things wrong but I haven’t had any regrets about how my life has gone. I don’t think I’ve ever lost that drive of what I found when I moved down here. Viva is the Latin verb “to live” and that’s what I’ve got to do, because I’ve got the name Viva!” 

She is awesome, and she got punk 100%. I don’t know exactly how, but punk opened things up for people, made it ok to find the creativity and spirit inside them. It tore up the rules and declared a democratized form of being and expression. No bullshit, glamorized “meritocracy” of art, but spirit, desire, content, just for anyone who wanted to try. Everyone a king and a queen.

where to put your work?

Saturday evening and I’m at home, it’s cold outside, and dark. The brown nail varnish I put on just after New Year (which came in handy for remembering Ziggy) is chipped to crap and about ready to come off. I’m looking forward to a tattoo touch up in a few days.

Strange start to the year, with so many significant artists dying, and even the gorgeous Dan Haggerty gone now.

Bowie’s loss did leave me with something though, which was the witnessing of his extraordinary example. Creativity, originality, collaboration, expression, and an amazing capacity for work. I find it so easy to be side tracked by the appalling hypocrisy and “injustice” of the world, of politics, and accepted collective morality so many times, but I have to remember where it is I am putting my work.

I dare say I will not kick the habit too quickly, and I will no doubt berate and lecture in my life at times, despite detesting that in myself or others. I don’t know how to entirely negotiate the unavoidability of politics, in a world that shoves it down your throat all the time. Sometimes you just have to have a way of saying “no! hold on! that’s lies!”. You can’t help it, and maybe indeed you shouldn’t need to, at least in moderation and according to your own personally distilled values. But it is nevertheless the case, that you are putting work into something you are reacting to, rather than originating, and that, beyond a circumspect and limited amount, it is a net loss to your own work which you have to do, originally  and creatively. I think it’s part of why Bowie was deliberately enigmatic, guarded and clearly disciplined. Aloof even.

Something to be reminded of, as I enter the beginning of 2016. Be thankful of your real, creative work. Choose to live as yourself. Choose where you will put your work.

It has worth.

vulcan

The Forge of Vulcan by Diego Velázquez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, digitally altered

stationtostation

If you haven’t been living in seclusion this week, then you will know already that David Bowie died on Sunday. I learnt of it on Monday morning from my husband staring at the computer screen, quietly in tears.

Almost too much to put into words.

Everyone has their own Bowie story, what he meant, what he did, how he changed them or their vision of life, or their recognition of themselves. Tilda Swinton has a story about being 13 and buying Aladdin Sane, even though she didn’t have a record player, because she had never seen anyone else who looked like her, like Bowie did on that record cover. Everyone has an individual story.

Coming from the generation we did (and he was not limited to a generation, he was every fan’s Bowie), I wrote the following to my sister on Monday:

I feel emotional but celebratory, I do feel teary, but also quite deeply proud that he was our one, as the kids who missed the 60s but witnessed the power of art and a whole different kind of courage in him and Angie and their crew. But what a victory and vindication, this strange boy who never really appeared to stick with one thing, or do those things that people think of as the mark of “authenticity” or “well roundedness” or “maturity” or individuation, and was as you say primarily a collaborator, so completely vindicated by artistry that could even match the fact of death. He got there, he really did. The fairy tale was real. What an achievement, what a Capricornian feat. They have been interviewing people on the news, and 18 year olds are saying “he taught me I could be myself”, which is so near as dammit exactly what a 15 year old in 1973 would have said, just a bit more colourfully. There is a street party in Brixton as we speak, by the Aladdin Sane mural. There is a little shrine in Soho at the site of the Ziggy photo shoot. And he has gone, no encore, no curtain call, left the building. What a fucking showman. All the surfaces and artifices had a meaning, but only for the individuals that wanted them. It was all messages to individuals.

A transcendent act of communication. If you got the message, you were part of it. He must have set so many people free, because I know what he did for us in ’73, and he obviously kept on doing it, decade after decade for people, from the reaction of those who aren’t middle aged ex-glam kids.

There was this whole thing with Ziggy, who we believed was Bowie then (half make-believe, half unashamed fan hysteria), whose life and death we lived through, who was the star man, the alien love rock god; this thing of the rock n roll suicide, the death and disappearance at the height of his fame and adulation (it was the self-conscious myth). The age-defining presence on stage, dramatically transformed into an absence.

On 8th January 2016, Bowie’s birthday, he released the Blackstar album. Two days later he was dead.

Ziggy didn’t just play guitar.

Back in 1973 he reached the height of his tongue in cheek, unstable, transformed beauty in Aladdin Sane, then fled to America as the blue eyed soul boy, returned as the Thin White Duke and had his beautiful, alien status immortalised in the film The Man Who Fell to Earth.  Then it was off to Berlin with Iggy, as ever, divining new things. And on. But you always remember when you first saw that light of difference, the other that was you, or a part of you, or the life that could be. I think I was 14 at the time. It sang, like Ziggy: “oh no love, you’re not alone”.

An artist-magician, playing with being and time, surfaces and meanings, futures and nostalgia, otherness and possibility. More grace, premonition and talent than one person should have been able to embody. We always said he was a genius, and the kids were right.

Gone, like the bullet straight out the barrel of a gun.

A jeweled seed case, and a million scattered children.

Bowie forever.

stills from the Blackstar video at https://youtu.be/kszLwBaC4Sw

stills from the Blackstar video at https://youtu.be/kszLwBaC4Sw